As writers and digital marketers, we’re in very competitive space. Information is widely available online. And there’s new content being published every day, new websites being created. Just having a website is not enough to attract traffic. You need to help the search engines find you.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a good way to get your potential client’s attention. Especially if you’re optimizing for targeted local search, you can gain an advantage over even larger sites and firms that have a strong web presence.
Recent Changes to Google’s Algorithm
Google has made a lot of changes over the years, but recently they’ve released some particularly big ones, including BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers). The BERT update prioritizes natural language processing. While it’s one of the biggest updates in recent years, it’s just the first step in a series of changes that will make context and focused content even more important.
Nofollow links also got a big change. If you’ve done any kind of SEO, you’re probably familiar with the “nofollow” tag, which tells search engines to ignore certain links completely. Nofollow tags are often used for links comments, ads, sponsored links, and links that might not be related to your site. Now, we also have “sponsored” and “ugc” (user-generated content) tags for links. They’re treated more as a suggestion than the hard stop of a nofollow tag. (Nofollow links still function the same way, so you can continue using them, but Google prefers the use of the new sponsored tag.)
Making Yourself Competitive
So, in today’s competitive digital space, what is your best bet for helping your content get found? On-page Search Engine Optimization is a good place to start.
It’s true that on-page Search Engine Optimization is only a part of the overall SEO equation. But it’s one of the few parts that you’ll always have direct control over, so make it count!
On-Page SEO Checklist for Posts and Pages
This is not a set-in-stone “you must do every single one of these things every time” kind of guide. Best practices for SEO should always be treated as a guideline, not the final word. Remember to put your readers first — if something doesn’t sound right to you, you can bet it won’t sound right to your readers either! If you can’t keep people on the page because of awkward or confusing writing, no amount of SEO will help.
Readers should always be your number one priority.
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